NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Getting A Job After Downsizing

December 28, 1998

Workers who find themselves out in the streets after corporate restructurings have a good chance of finding new jobs in a relatively short time, thanks to the vibrant economy.

  • Job cuts planned through November were up more than 50 percent over 1997 and were apparently headed for a record, according to the consulting firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
  • Experts attribute the surge in lay-offs to profit pressures on the firms due to the Asian economic debacle and turmoil in domestic financial markets.
  • But job creation has been outpacing layoffs, as it did, for example, last year -- when about 3.3 million workers were displaced, while the economy was creating 3.4 million new nonfarm jobs.
  • Even earlier, in 1995 and 1996, 4.6 million workers were laid off -- but about 40 percent were reemployed within five weeks and more than 60 percent within 14 weeks.

By early this year, according to PaineWebber Inc. economist Maury N. Harris, about 84 percent of those laid off in 1995-96 had found work -- while another 11 percent, many of whom were 55 or older, had left the labor force.

Source: Gene Koretz, "Downsizing's Economic Spin," Business Week, December 28, 1998.


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